RIU Paradise Island

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Fresh off a complete renovation last November, the 379 all-suite, all-inclusive Riu Palace Paradise Island sits front and center on the best beach in Nassau/Paradise Island. The beauty of this property for groups is its relatively compact footprint packed with amenities, so your group isn’t spread out and there’s a fun and varied collection of places to gather.

The overall vibe is classic Caribbean with fantastic natural light and upbeat color palettes, while the cobalt blue sea and pale soft beach are never far from eyesight.

“The hotel has all the main characteristics to join our Riu Palace collection, the most upscale product line in Riu, thanks to its great beachfront location, proximity to the biggest casino in the Caribbean and the blissful destination itself,” says sales director Armin Kaestner. Amenities include four à la carte restaurants, five bars, nightly entertainment and a full service spa and fitness center.

The spacious and meticulously kept suites, Kaestner says, “reflect a modern decor with luxurious features such as flat screen televisions, an in-room laptop safe and 24-hour complimentary room service.” You’ll want to take advantage of that room service out on your balcony to enjoy the Bahamian breeze and unspoiled panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea.

For buyouts, Bahamas Steakhouse caters to groups up to 150 with island favorites like surf ’n turf and smoked salmon with avocado mousse and fine herb mayonnaise, while the walls light up in neon blues, purples and greens. Private events can also be organized in the Calypso Lounge for 100, the terrace at the Japanese Tengoku restaurant for 60, and the raised oceanfront pool deck or solarium for 50 or 80 respectively. For conventional function space, the 3,000-sf ballroom hosts up to 200.

For offsite excursions, High Seas Bahamas Charters has catered to celebrity customers such as Janet Jackson, Miley Cyrus and James Gandolfini. We hopped into a power boat that seats up to 22 guests for a day of fun in the sun on a private island, complete with snorkeling through a plane wreck site, kayaking over thriving coral and brilliant teal water, and hand feeding the big local iguanas. Everyone in our group remarked how they couldn’t have imagined a more enjoyable day.

Just down the road, Ian and Karin Goodfellow operate a produce farm that’s become a bit of a Cinderella story on the island. In the ’90s, the couple used their savings to buy 15 acres and build a one-of-a-kind organic vegetable garden, something that the islands had never experienced. Today their business has expanded and introduced the idea of sustainability to the island.

“Lots of people think that sustainability is just about continuing to grow from a particular plot for the next 20 years, organically feeding it, treating the soil with praise and so on,” says Mr. Goodfellow. But he wanted to help educate others too, so the family opened a restaurant on their farm that serves lunch seven days a week to groups up to 20 guests, who can also schedule a tour of the grounds.

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